By Tony Romeo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS)  — The state transportation secretary says it will take two decades to rebuild I-95 through the Philadelphia region … and that putting an upper deck on the Schuylkill Expressway isn’t a far-fetched idea.

Years ago, then House Speaker John Perzel proposed building an upper deck on the Schuylkill Expressway. Some people thought it was pie-in-the-sky.

Not so says PennDOT Secretary Barry Schoch. He says he thinks it’s absolutely a potential idea.

An idea made more feasible, he says, because of improved construction techniques and a new state law allowing private companies to partner with the state on projects just like that.

“ If you were to put up a second deck and then offer people a choice of what they’d be willing to pay, a fee to get to from King Of Prussia to downtown in guaranteed to 20 minute time frame. I think we’ve seen success elsewhere in the nation with those kinds of options being provided, and we’d like to see that come out of the private sector.”

But the more pressing need, Schoch says, is the complete reconstruction of I-95.  Something he says will take 20 years.

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